Useful Temptation

By |2020-06-01T15:58:40-04:00June 5th, 2020|

Fifteenth-century monk Thomas à Kempis, in the beloved classic The Imitation of Christ, offers a perspective on temptation that might be a bit surprising. Instead of focusing on the pain and difficulties temptation can lead to, he writes, “[temptations] are useful because they can make us humble, they can cleanse us, and they can teach us.” Kempis explains, “The key to victory is true humility and patience; in them we overcome the enemy...”

The Mouse That Roared

By |2020-02-12T12:21:29-05:00February 15th, 2020|

Several years ago my sons and I spent a few days camping in the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Northern Idaho. It’s grizzly bear habitat, but we carried bear spray, kept our campsites clean, and anticipated no major grizzly encounters. One evening, in the middle of the night, I heard Randy scramble around trying to get out of his sleeping bag...

Turn and Run

By |2019-09-13T12:25:32-04:00September 18th, 2019|

Ali was a beautiful, smart, and talented teenager with loving parents. But after high school something prompted her to try heroin. Her parents noticed changes in her and sent her to a rehabilitation facility after Ali eventually admitted the impact it was having on her. After treatment, they asked what she would tell her friends about trying drugs. Her advice: “Just turn and run.” She urged that “just saying no” wasn’t enough...

All for Nothing

By |2019-07-25T13:38:02-04:00July 29th, 2019|

Heroin addiction is poignantly tragic. Users build tolerance, so larger hits are required for the same high. Soon the dosage they seek is more than enough to kill them. When addicts hear someone has died from an exceptionally strong batch, their first thought may not be fear but “Where can I get that..?”

Divine Escape

By |2019-05-15T11:38:45-04:00May 20th, 2019|

Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot mystery The Clocks features antagonists who commit a series of murders. Although their initial plot targeted a single victim, they began taking more lives in order to cover up the original crime. When confronted by Poirot, a conspirator confessed, “It was only supposed to be the one murder.” Like the schemers in the story, the religious authorities formed a conspiracy of their own.

Catching Foxes

By |2018-10-29T16:33:52-04:00November 2nd, 2018|

While talking on the phone with a friend who lives by the seaside, I expressed delight at hearing seagulls squawking. “Vile creatures,” she responded, for to her they’re a daily menace. As a Londoner, I feel the same way about foxes. I find them not cute animals but roaming creatures that leave smelly messes in their wake...